Posted in CleanEats, Faith Hope Love, Food, FoodBlog, Foodie, Fresh, Glory, GradSchool, Healthy, Jesus, Life, Love, New, Paleo, TheGoodGoodLife, WorldChanger

Grain Free “Granola” Squares

Grain Free “Granola” Squares:


Dry Ingredients:

  • 3/4 C unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 1 1/2 C Raisins
  • 1 C Dry Roasted Almonds (Coarsely chopped)
  • 3/4 C Raw Pecans (lightly toasted)
  • 1/2 C Cacao Nibs
  • 1/4 C Whole Flax Seeds

Wet Ingredients:

  • 3/4 C Nut butter (I used Nutzo butter)**
  • 1/4 C Honey**
  • 1/4 C 100% Maple Syrup**
  • 2 T Coconut oil
  • 2 T Cinnamon

Side Notes:

**The Nutzo Butter I had was not Paleo, because it had peanuts in it. It was just what I had on hand. They do however make a Paleo option. BUT any form of nut butter you have will do just fine!

**You do not have to use both honey and maple syrup if you don’t want to. You can use one or the other! I wouldn’t recommend not using them at all, just because the mix won’t hold together well, but you could always try decreasing the amount!

This recipe is super delicious, and super simple which is my favorite part! You can totally experiment and make this your own with whatever you have on hand. It’s a TOTAL WIN for cleaning out the pantry, and getting a protein packed bar with none of the preservatives, dairy, or junk in it!

In addition, here are some suggestions for changing it up.

  • Alternatives for raisins include other chopped dried fruits, dried cranberries could be super yummy in here!
  • If you don’t have cacao nibs but want to throw in some mini chocolate chips, go for it! This is easy to make as clean eats (or not clean eats) as you want!
  • If you have other types of nuts you want to add, do it! Make it your own and use what you like!
  • These bars are a little on the sweeter side (because my sweet tooth is HUGE) so you could always cut back on the honey and syrup if you wanted a less sweet bar.

Mixing it up!

  1. Rough chop your raw pecans and throw them in a skillet on medium-low heat until they begin to smell fragrant, usually 3-5 minutes (Stir occasionally).
  2. While those are toasting away, add all of the other dry ingredients to a mixing bowl.
  3. When the pecans are done throw them in the dry mixture and toss everything together. You want to have a little bit of each component when you bite into your bar, so mix well.
  4. Return the skillet to the medium-low heat, and add all of your wet ingredients (I realize cinnamon is not wet, but it goes into the mix too).
  5. Use a rubber spatula to mix this together until it starts to bubble slightly, it will then begin to incorporate together into a smooth sticky sauce (Takes maybe 2-3 minutes).
  6. Once the mixture is smooth and slightly bubbling take it off the burner and dump it directly over your dry ingredients.
  7. Use the spatula to mix it all together, until everything is coated evenly and sticky!
  8. Grab a sheet pan, and line it with parchment paper.
  9. Dump out the mixture onto the lined baking sheet.
  10. Using the spatula, flatten it out as much, or as little as you would like your bars to be. I kept mine between 3/4 – 1 inch thick. It covered about half of my sheet pan.
  11. Press everything together and flatten it out so that it is even.

IMG_2975 (1)

  1. Place in the fridge overnight or for a couple of hours to set.
  2. Remove the parchment with the bars out of the pan and on to a flat surface. Use a big knife to cut them into squares.
  3. Store in an airtight container in the fridge!
  4. Enjoy!

IMG_2974 (1)

XOXO, Alie

Posted in CleanEats, Devotion, Encouragement, Faith Hope Love, Food, FoodBlog, Foodie, Fresh, Glory, GradSchool, Healthy, Hope, Jesus, Life, Love, New, Paleo, Spiritual, TheGoodGoodLife, Whole30, WorldChanger

Jesus & Coffee (Dates)

You know how when you just love a product, you’ve been reading an amazing book, found a new lipstick you like, or there’s a new restaurant you love? Don’t you always love when people share their super awesome finds with you? Like when you are talking over dinner, or coffee? I loveeee coffee dates, they are part of my love language. And I’m willing to bet that most of my coffee dates almost always end up talking about the amazing things God is doing! Jesus and Coffee are part of my love language. So I hope this to be the first of many of these kinds of posts. Just imagine we are sippin’ coffee in comfy clothes, or lookin’ cute at a trendy local shop. I’ll tell you all my favorite things, we’ll catch up, and we’ll see how God has been at work. SO good.

So here we go!

And…while we are on the subject of coffee, I’ll share a little more about my love for coffee!

I love coffee. Like a huge fan. I am a little picky with coffee….a coffee snob of sorts. I’m actually not a huge fan of franchise coffee joints, because well the actual coffee itself is not my favorite. SO that being said, I order my coffee online. And in my own personal opinion this is the best one, hands down.

The kind of coffee I drink is from! If you have never heard of them, they are fabulous! The have amazing snacks, baking ingredients, candies, nuts, and coffee (duh). Their customer services is also phenomenal! I order lots of different things from here!

The coffee I order is called Copenhagen. It is the second best part of my morning routine! The first is quiet time with Jesus. Jesus and Coffee.

Fun fact about this, my parents developed a spreadsheet of all the different roasts that had on their website, based on which ones we liked and why. We narrowed it down to favorites, re-ordered and then found the top two (this took several months mind you). We have never bought anything else since. Yeah, it’s that good.

The second thing I’d share with you that I’m loving right now, are all the different sermons series that have seriously changed my life for the better. All the tears, all the ‘yes & amens’, and all the Jesus. So Good.

The first YouTube sermons I started were by pastor Michael Todd from Transformation Church. He spits straight fire!! I could watch him all day. Some of my favorites of his are as follows:

    • When you need to be reminded that God has called you. I could watch this everyday.
  • Relationship Goals 
    • This series has changed my life. Seriously. Such a refreshing way to look at all relationships, not just dating ones.
  • Grace Like a Flood
    • This is diving into such a fresh and needed perspective of God’s grace.

The second guy is named Ben Stuart and he has a book and video series called “Single, Dating, Engaged, and Married” that has also changed my life for the better. I think anyone could benefit from relationship sermons, because even if you are married, it just gives you more insight on how to communicate with other people, how to deal with your kids, or even how to deal with people around you who are going through this too.

  • Single, Dating, Engaged, Married – Sermon Videos
    • Ben is super funny, knows his audience well, and just has such a gift of speaking! Made such a tough topic, interesting and fun.
  • SDEM – Book
    • I’ve never read the book, but plan to in the near future, because the messages I’ve watched twice now all the way through. So Good.

A third pastor who I have started to watch more recently is Steven Furtick from Elevation Church. Dude is amazing. Funny. He reminds me a lot of a friend of mine who is in the process of becoming a pastor. It makes me picture him and the big things God is doing in his life when I see Pastor Steven preaching! Anything by Steven I would watch.

  • It’s Not Over
    • This is a message about how when God tells you no in a particular area of your life, it doesn’t mean it’s over.

The next thing I would tell you about is about books I have been reading that are incredible!

  • Girl Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis
    • I CAN’T EVEN EXPLAIN HOW MUCH I LOVE THIS BOOK. This lady is changing lives y’all. She is spreading girl power like wildfire, and it is an amazing breath of fresh air. This book has changed me. Chapter by chapter, line by line, word by word. It is all about not believing the lies the world tells us as women, and it is powerful!
  • 31 Prayers for My Future Husband by Jennifer and Aaron Smith
    • This book not only gives me a nice way to reflect on what a godly man should look like, but a chance to write out my own prayers for him. It also encourages me to pray these types of things over myself, but the way a godly woman should be.  My next step is to buy the Wife version, but to pray it over myself! I can’t expect so much from a man if I’m not shaping myself too!!
  • Uninvited by Lysa TerKeurst
    • This book is all about realizing God didn’t set you aside, he set you apart! How to realize how loved you are even if your whole life might have looked like rejection. She is honest, and raw, and I’m thankful for woman like her telling their stories.
  • The last ones I would tell you about is literally anything by Charles Martin, he is AMAZING. These are fiction stories with wholesome plot lines. They are never raunchy or lust-filled. Yet they are some of the most beautiful love stories ever. His style of writing is captivation and so beautiful. The language in his novels is a love language all of its own. Here are some favorites:

The final thing I would tell you about is new products I have found that I fell in love with!

  • Vital Proteins – Collagen Peptides: it is a huge thing in the clean eating community especially on Instagram, and I was SOOO skeptical at first, but I love them!!  They are good for your hair, skin, nails, and joints! I used to lose hair like a crazy person, literally by the hand full in the shower, or when brushing it and now I hardly shed at all anymore!
  • 4th and Heart Ghee –  It is pricey but boy it is so good! Worth a splurge on! Use a combo of this and olive oil to fry up some cubed potatoes seasoned with salt, pepper, paprika, onion and garlic powder, and serve an over-easy egg on top, you won’t be sorry! YUM.
  • My Motivational Water Bottle – This product is easily one of my favorite things because of how well it keeps me accountable for my water intake! The one linked is the exact one I have thanks to a dear friend of mine!

The last thing I would remind you of if we were having coffee, is just how much you are loved. How much I love spending time with you, doing life with you. So if you are reading this, thanks for stopping by and taking a look into the Good Good Life. I’m so blessed to be taking up a few minutes of your day! And hey, I know you are busy, so go out and crush it today. I believe in you, but more importantly God believes in you and created you for a purpose. Live with that purpose today and every day!

“For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.” -Ephesians 2:10-



Posted in CleanEats, Devotion, Encouragement, Faith Hope Love, Food, FoodBlog, Foodie, Fresh, Glory, GradSchool, Healthy, Hope, Jesus, Life, Love, New, Paleo, Spiritual, TheGoodGoodLife, Whole30, WorldChanger

Health Journey

In my last couple posts I’ve discussed my health journey, food changes, Whole30, etc. Now though, I get to share a really exciting picture of my progress thus far. The picture on the left is when I was at about 235 lbs. I was also eating my feelings, moody, stressed, and completely unhappy with the way I looked. I have mostly selfies of my face from this time, usually from a higher, more flattering angle because I hated how I looked in pictures. It stinks to feel this way. On the right I am at about 185 lbs. I am happy, I am healthier, I feel more emotionally balanced, and some days I feel like a totally different person looking back pictures!

So far I have lost 50 pounds! It is so crazy to imagine me holding a 50 pound weight, and walking around knowing that’s what I was carrying around before! This journey is far from over, because in order to do it right, health is constant, it is a work in progress always. It takes intentionality to eat well, exercise, get enough sleep, cut back on things you shouldn’t eat, and to tell yourself no. All of these things take work, practice, and training and they didn’t always come easily!


Habit forming doesn’t happen over night. I started with one small habit at a time. The first one, was to stop binge/stress eating, instead of turning to food, I would pray about it, or just be honest with myself about how I was feeling and why. I started talking myself through why I was standing at the pantry. Was I hungry? Bored? Sad? Stressed? The second one was to start eating more clean, I didn’t just cold turkey all the things. I started small, eliminating things like dairy, and then most grains (During this time I still had plenty of other junk food in the house, like I said baby steps). My third step was to cut back on buying the bad snacks, because if they were there, I was going to eat them. So I started just avoiding buying junk food except as a treat. Also during this entire time I started reading labels! I can’t stress how important it is to do this! You don’t realize how many things have sugar in them until you start looking!! I also like to try to follow the rule of thumb, that if you can’t pronounce it, you probably shouldn’t be eating it!

Once I was able to maintain a more clean lifestyle, and wasn’t setting myself up to fail. I did my first Whole30, this took a couple years for me. That being said some people totally have the willpower to do that cold turkey. I did not. I did however work my way up to doing so! And now I’ve crushed three of them!

My last goal was to add exercise back in and to make it regularly occurring, and you guessed it, I started small here too!! During my second Whole30 I decided I was going to be some form of active, for at least 15 minutes every other day. It is SOOO easy to become sedentary in grad school, so any form of movement is welcomed! That transitioned into my next Whole30 where I decided to work out everyday with a the exception of 1 rest day if needed. I’m not super human and neither are you, our bodies need rest sometimes and that’s okay! My last Whole30 I also did with a friend who was starting for the first time. I thoroughly enjoyed helping and encouraging her along the way! And though she said it was hard and at one point wanted to quit, she’s so glad she didn’t because she felt amazing!

Taking care of yourself is so important. I don’t believe that there is one all or nothing way to eat either. I believe different people’s bodies can tolerate different foods. I do believe though that it takes effort to get there. I believe it takes trial and error. It takes grace to make mistakes, or to slip up. It takes a change in mind set. It takes willingness to see that maybe some of the things you eat are causing problems in your body. It takes brutal honesty with yourself. It takes time. It takes you looking in the mirror and saying, “I love myself enough to take care of myself.” And it is so worth it, because you friend, are worth it. You only have one body. We were called to steward it. Take care of it. Love it by putting good things into it, and I promise when you do, your body will thank you.

Our society likes to twist this into saying if you love yourself, then you can do whatever you want, whenever you want. That if you don’t treat yo’self often that you must be torturing yourself with boring foods. That is not the case at all. Think of it this way, parents discipline their children to shape them, teach them, and help them grow up to make good decisions. Disciplining ourselves is helping us to grow and make better decisions! Quite often now I think about things I used to eat, and they do not sound appealing at all because I know that they will cause bloating, breakouts, tummy aches, sugar crashes, shaking, and headaches. I know that by eating whole foods, that I won’t have any of the crumby side effects!

Coming from the girl who has never felt very healthy, confident, or strong. I am beginning to feel all of those things emerge, and it is amazing! You can too! Take the time to make small changes towards a healthier future! Your body will thank you! Remember you are worth it. You are a child of God. You are loved. You are enough as you are, being healthy doesn’t make you more or less. It just makes you healthier!

“Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not you own; you were bought at a high price. Therefore honor God with your body.”

-1 Corinthians 6:19-20-



Posted in CleanEats, Devotion, Encouragement, Food, FoodBlog, Foodie, Fresh, Glory, GradSchool, Healthy, Hope, Jesus, Life, Love, New, Paleo, Spiritual, TheGoodGoodLife, Whole30, WorldChanger

Health is a Marathon, Not a Sprint

Earlier this year I did my first Whole30. To say it has changed my life for the better would be an understatement! Since then I have done two more. Each one since I have given myself an exercise challenge as well. To better explain this I will back track a little bit. If you have seen my previous post about my health journey thus far you know that I started back in 2015.

My first change, needed to be small but mighty, and attainable (I cannot stress that part enough). Something that wouldn’t make me burnout and give up. I knew that meant I wouldn’t start at the gym, this battle started in my mindset, it started with my relationship with food. (Mind you this is before Whole30 was ever on my radar at all). I did know quite a bit about clean eating, so I started there. I stopped buying things that would cause me to keep binge and stress eating. If it is not in the house, I can’t eat it! I ate so much better and as a result, the last couple years has had ups and downs, but I naturally lost about 30 pounds!

In the Fall of last year 2017, I moved here to St. Augustine to start grad school. I’d been praying about it, knowing that the exercise part of my journey was going to have to come soon. My first term was mostly spent adjusting! I kept eating fairly well, and keeping good choices in the house. But I knew once and for all I wanted to say good bye to my bad food choices, and my addictions to sugar! So earlier this year 2018, I decided to do my first Whole30. To prove to myself, I have come a long way, that I can do anything. You can do anything for 30 days! And I did. It was such a boost of confidence, and a reachable goal that showed me truly how far I’ve come.

My second Whole30 happened about a month after the first. I decided the exercise was coming into play, but again, it needed to be attainable. I didn’t want to hate the gym. I wanted to love my body and do good things for it. Making changes doesn’t come from hating what you see and changing it, that causes burnout, sadness, and self-loathe. Making a positive change comes from loving yourself enough to do it for the betterment of your body, mind, soul, and spirit! So I decided every other day of this challenge I would do something active for at least 15 minutes! Get my heart rate up, and get my moving. I am sitting down a lot because of studying! Some days that was a workout at the beach, or the gym, or at home! I literally ran around my apartment complex one morning. But I gave myself the grace of starting small.

This last Whole30 I am finishing off as I type. We are on day 27. This time, my fitness goal was to workout everyday, with the exception of one rest day per week (I’m not a super human okay?). It was reasonable, challenging enough to where I knew I could do it. It takes planning, it also takes flexibility to my otherwise normal routines. It takes going to the store sweaty after the gym because you need to eat dinner (I am really not a fan of this, so it is expanding my comfort zone). It takes grace to know when you need a rest day, and to welcome it.

You might be saying, great Alie, cool? Why are you telling me all of this?

Well friend, because I never thought I’d be able to do this. Ever. I was weak, a slave to food. I hated the way my body looked. I was all sorts of emotions. I needed change, and didn’t know where to start. My journey started with me, I knew that I was the only one capable of making the changes. No one was going to do it for me, and they can’t. If I wanted to be healthy, I needed to give myself grace. Grace to mess up, Grace to keep going, Grace to be realistic in my goals. However, I can only give myself grace because of the grace Jesus gave us so freely. He gave so now we give. You can’t become a body builder over night. You can’t be “beach ready” in a day or two of fad dieting. I needed something sustainable. Something that would keep me going long after I felt like quitting.

I needed Jesus. It is not coincidental that everything the bible talks about relates to anything and everything you go through. I wrote another post about digging into the word of God over the past couple years and how it has changed everything. It also made me realize that apart from God I am powerless. But that through Him and for Him, I can do All Things (Philippians 4:13). I got a tank top made that says that as a constant reminder. The realization to me that everything is connected is what drives me to be better.

I was given this body to be the hands and feet of Christ. If I don’t take care of it, I might not be able to live the life that God is calling me to live. For me this is a call to be an OT. And that was a reality check my first term at Occupation Therapy school trying to do transfers. I was weak. If I continued to let my body be weak, I could not best serve my future patients. I might hurt myself trying to help them. I work out for them. It was a huge reminder when thinking about the future children I hope to have someday. All the research about unhealthy eating during pregnancy, and how it relates to the diseases, like diabetes, your child could be susceptible to is astonishing. I make healthy choices now, to steward my body for future children, and for their health. Lord willing I will have them someday! When I just feel like I can’t, I think of the reasons I am doing it, and suddenly I know I can do it, and I will. I think of my future husband, where ever he is, who ever he is. I hope that his outlook on food and nutrition will be passionate like mine. I will be a better future wife, if I take care of myself first. I can be a better person in general, if my mental health is taken care of first.

Self-care is so important. If you take one thing away from this blog post it’s this. Change comes from a place of LOVING yourself enough to do it, not hating yourself so much that you feel like you have to. Journeys to health are exactly that, journeys. It is, and will always be, an on going process. But friend, you can do it! If no one has ever told you that you can, I will. YOU CAN. YOU WILL. But remember to give yourself grace, and honest grace. Slip ups are normal, we are human, but you also need to set yourself up for success.

Start small, it is better to start small and succeed, that to shoot for the moon and fail. My first few arm workouts at the gym with machines, I had to use only the weight of the machine itself, why?? Because I have weak shoulders, and that is okay! I would start to feel self-conscious about it and then realize that it doesn’t matter because someday it won’t be this way. And I would rather start small and not hurt myself than feel the need to impress people at the gym who aren’t watching me anyways!

If you are thinking about making a change. Pray it out. Ask God where to start. Maybe you are like me and it will start with a food break up. You can do it. Or maybe you need to get back to a gym routine. You can do it. Have faith, give yourself grace, and pray your way through it. Do it for personal growth. For your future or current husband, kids, friends, clients, family. Do it for you. And most importantly do it for God. The one who gave you this body to be a vessel for His kingdom. Do it for the glory of the Lord. The one who strengthens you from the inside. You are mighty, you are loved, and you are a child of God. Friend that is always enough. Keep going. If you don’t quit you can’t lose!

One last thing, reach out. I would love to answer any questions you have, encourage you, or be a source of help in any way I can. We are all in this together! I am a huge fan of Pep talks, so if you need one holla at me!

“For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come.”

-1 Timothy 4:8



Posted in Devotion, Encouragement, Glory, GradSchool, Healthy, Hope, Jesus, Life, Love, New, Spiritual, TheGoodGoodLife, WorldChanger

Giving Him Everything

Over the last couple years, I’ve really been honing in on what God is asking of me. What He wants my life to look like. Ultimately, just trying to readjust the sails, and focus more on Him. To mold my life to look more like Jesus. Last January, of 2017 our pastor back home preached a series titled, Will You Let God Resurrect the Dead Places? This sermon series started an avalanche of change in my heart, soul, and mind. My God dream was very obvious in many places in my life, like school/career. There was no doubt in my mind that I was moving towards the pursuit of His plan for my life. My dream in that realm is my god dream. It is everything wonderful in the world. I wouldn’t be here without His plans for me.

However, that service, and every service I attend, I like to capture one piece of something as a take away. Or more, but at least one thing to self-reflect on and check into how that applies to me. So the challenge was to ask God to clean out the dead places, seems easy enough? Think again. The last year, since that moment has gutted my heart, mind, and soul, and washed it new in ways I couldn’t imagine. There’s been trials I have walked through, ways my faith has been tested, and sadness that you only experience with a broken spirit. In that though, there is healing. There’s waiting. There’s tears. But there is so much Jesus. He is in the waiting. There is growth. Maturation. Love.

When God works on your dead places, he brings the deepest, tucked down darkest things in your being, to the light. He puts them out on display, because where there is light there can be no darkness. When you bring those places into the light the enemy can no longer take hold of them. He can’t whisper lies in to them any longer. They give him no footholds. Bringing dark places you’ve been out into the light, and washing them clean hurts, it does, but allowing God to wipe them clean, feels so good. There were things in my heart I didn’t even know were still hurting me. There were relationships I missed, ones I needed to distance from, and ones I needed to build. There was shame, and guilt from past mistakes, sin nature, and habits that were hard to kick.

I eventually got to a point, where I told God I trusted him with everything. That I was ready to move deeper into knowing him. That I wanted him to take control of my life. Then he showed me in the most gentle yet obvious manner, the last piece that stood in the way. The last chunk of my heart I still wouldn’t give him. I mean, didn’t I trust him? And if I did, why did it hurt me so bad?

Can I tell you friend, if there is pain in circumstance, that just means you’re facing it head on. It means that it is in the process of healing. It means that instead of growing numb to the world around you, you are embracing it, pain, tears, and all. Can I tell you that if there’s pain, it means that your story isn’t over. If it doesn’t look good, that better is yet to come.

We may not understand why God allows us to walk through some of the things that we do. And I sure as heck know that the hard times, sin nature, and painful moments come from the enemy, not God. But I do know that perseverance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope will never disappoint (Romans 5:3-5). I can see now that God has just wanted me all along to trust him with everything I have. To know that he is bigger than circumstances. And that no matter how I feel in that moment, that this life is only temporary. The ultimate goal is heaven, and I know that means I need to do whatever God asks of me. No matter if my emotions align with it or not. My God is bigger, he sees my life today, tomorrow, and forever. And he sees yours too. He sees you friend, and he loves you. He created you for a purpose. Have you asked him what that is, and actually wanted to know the answer?

Sometimes it isn’t comfortable, in fact He likes to get us outside of our comfort zone, so that we trust him, and learn to to grow our faith. I think we ask God things, and then when the answer isn’t something we like, we try to ask for it a different way. Giving in to the way, His way, is always better. Trust me. I had to let go of a lot of things to get where I am today. The healing process of that is still very real, very new. Some days are hard. Some days, I get so busy with school and life, that I forget how very real it is. But, my God is bigger, he loves me, me has a plan for me, and he has a future for me. And I will live my whole life believing that is true, and chasing after the one who created me.

Because He is Good Good. I want to live that Good Good Life too.